When we experience something good, we would like this experience to last.
What we enjoy, we would want to keep on enjoying.
Today’s gospel text shows us a vivid example of this (Matthew 17:1-9).
Three of Jesus’ apostles see him transfigured, he appears glorified before them.
So, Peter says spontaneously:
“Lord, it is good for us to be here.
If you wish, I will put up three shelters –
one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
But when this experience becomes one that envelops them in God’s presence,
suddenly, the reaction of the apostles changes completely.
We are told:
“When the disciples heard this, (God speaking to them, addressing them personally)
they fell facedown to the ground, terrified.”
Amazing, is it not?
So often, we want to reach God, we try to get closer to him.
And… when he, himself, gets close to us, we are terrified!
Jesus touched the apostles. He said: “Don’t be afraid.”
The lesson we need to learn, and learn again…
NOT to be afraid of God!
Why would we perceive his presence as a threat?
Why do we interpret his closeness as something we should fear?
Long ago he has revealed himself as:
“A God of tenderness and compassion…
rich in kindness and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6).
Tenderness, compassion, kindness, faithfulness…
We could repeat these words like a mantra… and remain ever at peace…
Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French, at: https://image-i-nations.com/dimanche-de-la-transfiguration-du-seigneur-annee-a-2023/
Source: Image: LiturgyTools.net